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and said he was modestly optimistic about a deal on taxes. meeting this the red room, president obama held firm for tax cuts for families making up to $250,000 per year, and joining me on the north lawn of the white house is kristen welker. kristen, let's listen to what the president said about and up or down vote or what he expects from the senate. >> i had a good and constructive discussion here with the leadership about this tax hike on the middle-class. i am optimistic that we can reach an agreement that will be passed in both houses. if an agreement is not reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor and up or down vote for the floor, and i believe a p proposal could pass both houses with majorities as long as the leaders allow it to actually come to a vote. if members of the house or the senate want to vote no, they can. but we should let everybody vote. >> kristen, this up or down vote seems to be be the big news of the day, and isn't this what the white house wanted all along? >> well, it is. it is prp's way of sayi
the start of the new year, it's put up or shut up time for congressional leaders. president obama addressed reporters from the white house this evening. roughly an hour after meeting with leaders of the house and senate. >> i still want to get this done. it's the right thing to do for our families, for our businesses, and for our entire economy. but the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. >> senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell were back at the capitol in no time. mcconnell gathered his members to inform them of the work that needs to be done. >> we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward, as early as sunday, and have a recommendation, that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference, so we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. so i'm hopeful and optimistic. >> i'm going to do everything that i can. i'm confident senator mcconnell will do the same. but everybody, this is -- what
tantaros, juliet huddy. this is "the five." >> kimberly: congressional leaders met with president obama at the white house in a last-ditch effort to come to agreement on the fiscal cliff but neither side is optimistic that a deal will be reached by the deadline. what will it mean for american people? eric? >> eric: well, i'm on the record saying we should name it the obama cliff and swan dive off of it. the only way the democrats will cut spending, because they're forceed in to it. if nothing happens, and the deal is not truck, people paycheck get smaller because the payroll taxes expire. people will have to pay in their taxes to a different way. the alternative minimum tax won't be patched and we'll have to be addressed as well. taxes will go up. spending cuts over time will happen as well. i think the stock market will be hit hard. i have the most to lose than anyone i know but the only way to fix the economy. >> eric: president obama wants tax cuts to expire for everyone except those making under $250,000 a year. john boehner plan "b" making $1 million. this looked like president oba
, not once in the time has president obama demanded that the senate do their job. this is the height of irresponsibility. number four, the president's main focus has been to attack republicans again and again yet republicans they have done their job. they passed a bill months ago to avoid this fiscal cliff. now, that bill has been come meetly ignored by -- completely ignored by senate democrats and by the president. number five the worse part of all there is nothing here that the president is proprosing that deals with the real clear present danger that america now faces. reckless borrowing, reckless spending generational theft that brings america to the point of bankruptcy. the president has given the country over $6 trillion in new debt. trillion dollars deficits as far as the eye can see and all he wants to fight for is higher taxes that will fund a mere 8 and a half days of government. frankly nothing but a pathetic disgrace. you the american people deserve a government that lives within its means. you deserve a government that is not obsessed with using your money to accumulate
hanger. president obama calls on congress to act after christmas on a scaled down deal that would spare the middle class from tax hikes on the first of the year. >> we've heard plenty of people calling for new gun control laws, but very little from the national rifle association until now. in a bizarre news conference that was interrupted twice by protesters, the head of the nra. it's the same line we've heard before from the nra, but has the country's relationship with guns fundamentally changed since newtown? and what we saw last night from house republicans is yet another symptom of the real problem for the gop. they don't believe in compromise. and they've lurched too far to the right. we begin with where things stand on the fiscal cliff, msnbc political analyst and msnbc contributor jared bernstein. jentle men, president obama tonight said he had spoken with speaker boehner in addition to senate majority leader harry reed. >> i just spoke to speaker boehner and i also met with senator reed. in the next few days, i've asked leaders of congress to work towards a package that prevents
wish to god she had had an m-4 in her office. >> michelle obama gets definitive on a future run for office. and tonight, i will deliver my verdict on spike lee versus "django unchained." >> what's your name? >> django. >>> with little more than four days until the fiscal cliff, we now know that all the relevant parties will be in washington in three days. that's right. three days from now. on sunday evening before the redskins beat the cowboys. the house will finally reconvene. why? is it to finally strike a deal? honestly, no one knows. but one thing is certain. house speaker john boehner and his fellow republicans could no longer weather the incredibly bad optics of sitting at home while the president of the united states and the senate were in washington. president obama arrived back at the white house this morning. the president will host a meeting tomorrow afternoon with senate majority leader reid, senate minority leader mcconnell, speaker boehner, and leader pelosi at the white house. senate majority leader harry reid took to the senate floor this morning to, shall we say
. with me today, ben stein. steve cornaki is joining us, as well. president obama returned to washington moments ago, cutting short his christmas vacation. the president has now spoken with all four congressional leaders, according to the white house communications director he. the house remains on vacation, but there are a few signs of life in the capital. gop leaders have released a new statement with an old message to the senate. the ball is in your court. the statement says the house will take action on whatever the senate can pass, but the senate first must act. well, this morning, senate majority leader reid slammed the house republicans not not even showing up. >> if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we are headed, the house of representatives as we speak with four days left after today before the first of the year aren't here with the speaker having told them they will give them 48 hours inside. i can't imagine their conscious. >> well, senator reid is expected to hold a news conference about the talks this afternoon. so here is where we stand. reid wants to ge
: president obama summoned congressional leaders to the white house today hoping for a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. the power brokers have four days before the government starts slashing military and domestic spending. president obama is pushing for a stop gap measure that with avoid faxes on people earning less than $25,000. on capitol hill frustration is growing. both republicans and democrats sound look they have given up. outside the capitol democrats hauled out a times square ball prop with the emergency, don't drop the ball. >> the republicans refuse to ask those with the most in our society to give a little bit more. >> reporter: a simple stop gap measure is not what many in washington had hoped for. republicans blame president obama for the collapse of a bigger deal that would have cut spending and reduced the country's debt. >> it is the president's responsibility to lay out a plan and to bring people together but it's a total dereliction of duty and a lack of courage to deal with the issues. >> it rests in the hands of the senate. >>> president obama is scheduled to give
of it and we've seen president obama take this tactic before. during the payroll tax cut fight, you'll remember he ran out and talked to people in different states and tried to ramp up pressure congress in that way. last night president obama came out, addressed the nation and again tried to turn up the heat on congress by saying essentially that americans are fed up. he tries to bring the public into this debate to increase pressure, so certainly the interview on "meet the press," currently a part of that strategy and the president and his staffers watching these negotiations quite closely going on behind the scenes. >> kristen welker, thanks. we'll come back to you later. >> over to capitol hill now, luke russert is standing by. luke, what are you hearing, if anything, about progress today? >> reporter: this morning, craig, there were a hints of optimism and that's subsided to a degree. as kristen mentioned. there are sources close to the talks that say no deal has been reached and again, these negotiations are fluid. they go up and down. it's not an easy road to get to these things at the en
when president obama calls mitch mcconnell, bring the republican leader in the process. what happens now is very important. as sam said, they'll be negotiating today and over the weekend in the senate. and if this $250,000 comes to the floor, if a few republicans attach themselves to what reid and obama agree to, then that means when it pose gophers to the house it has a much better chance of attracting republican support. if mitch mcconnell aligns republicans and tells everyone to oppose it in the senate republican conference, the chances of it succeeding in the house are pretty low. >> sam, is this the end of the road for grover norquist and his pledge? >> it's odd because grover was the one sort of outside government institution on the conservative side who agreed with speaker boehner's plan "b" which would have allowed taxes to go up above $1 million in income. all the other conservative groups say no. i think grover's pledge, i don't know where it goes from here. obviously is doesn't have as much teeth as is it did because there are people who are willing to buck it. >> i think
? does he blink obama's plan to the floor or try to work with mcconnell in this 11th hour. you will have a tough vote for many house republicans. if that level is at 250 and it includes unemployment, make it so republicans may not. >> joy, do you think we have a deal? >> you know, ill'm still very dubious. but if there is a deal, it will be with a majority of democrats in the house and there's a political risk for boehner in that. >> thank you. you've been watching "hardball." we'll be back in one hour with an all-new live edition. until then, "politics nation" starts rite now. >> thanks, richard. thanks to you for tuning in. breaking news, president obama urges congress to make a deal to overt the fiscal cliff. he announces no deal, but progress may be in sight. >> and that would be the wrong thing to do for our e con mu. it would be bad for middle class families and bad for businesses that depend on family spending. fortunately, congress can prevent it from happening if they act right now. i just had a good and constructive discussion here at the white house about how to prevent this t
? >> i know that president obama takes this very, very seriously, and i know that barbara lee and a number of the members of the house have been really pushing this, as it's something not to be forgotten in the fiscal cliff fight. i put my faith in them to continue to raise this flag and to say, we cannot let congress leave washington without taking care of these folks. >> john nichols, as always, thank you so very much, my friend. that's it for the ed show. >>> brother ezra, always good to see you, my friend. >> good to see you too, and happy friday. and thanks to you at home for sticking around for the next hour. rachel's got the night off, but we learned something huge today. we are going over the fiscal cliff. we are going either all the way over or going partly over, but we are definitely, definitely going over. that whole fiscal cliff thing, where congress and the white house can't reach a deal on taxes and spending before the end of the year and they maybe get us into a recession, it's definitely happening. that was the whole point of president obama's press conference
adam: i'm adam shapiro in for melissa francis. here's what's "money" tonight. president obama and congressional leaders try to pull off a fiscal cliff hail mary. their last-ditch meeting at the white house desperately tries to land a deal but the report he hadly not putting any new offer on the table. we have the very latest for you. >>> not even the fiscal cliff can slow down the u.s. oil boom the production surge sets up huge windfalls for businesses outside the oil industry in 2013. who stand to reap the biggest gains? we'll drill down details so you can get in on this game. >>> iran launches war games in the strait of hormuz flexing its military muscle in the heart of the critical seaway for global oil supplies. is iran just sabre-rattling or gearing up for something much bigger? even when they say it's not, it is always about money. adam: and a good evening to you. melissa francis will be back after the first of the year but right now let's look at today's market headlines of the investors were largely gripped by unfolding events in washington regarding the fiscal cliff.
. that was the whole point of president obama's press conference this afternoon. >> i still want to get this done. it's the right thing to do for our families, for our businesses, and for our entire economy. but the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. >> allow me a quick update here. that press conference, it came after president obama met with john boehner and nancy pelosi and harry reid and mitch mcconnell, so all the key congressional leaders. and listen to the president here. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable. why everything always has to wait until the last minute. well, we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. i just have to repeat. you know, outside of washington, nobody understands how it is that this seems to be a repeat pattern, over and over again. ordinary folk
with president obama at the white house. among the leaders, republican house speaker john boehner and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. harry reid and nancy pelosi were there. steve chenevey live on capitol hill right now. >> that meeting at the white house lasted just a little more than an hour. they started at 3:10 and were done by 4:15. no major decisions were made. president, reportedly telling congressional leadership, if you do not have a better plan than i do by now, we need to get to voting on my plan. the clock is still ticking in advance of monday night's deadline. frustration being felt not just inside the capitol, but i constituents outside as well. >> i am a little worried about the future as well, for my kids mostly. >> it is a popular thought outside the capital. >> there is an understandable frustration. >> chris van hull and is hopeful a deal can be reached by tuesday, although it will likely be a smaller deal that addresses only the major parts of the fiscal cliff from taking effect. >> we have got to get on a larger agreement, to make sure we sustained a very fragile
>> well, i think obviously barack obama will be an enormous influence on american life and the world in general, depending on what he does in his next two years in the presidency or perhaps the next six years, depending on what happens to the economy in this country. >> all right. well, that's all the time we have here. thank you so much. willie geist, mike barnicle, thanks for watching our special, "the most." it was a lot of fun. >> yeah, it was. >> even if george bush was on the list. i thought you behaved yourself very well. all right. >> yeah. >> well, thank you so much for being with us. >>> merry cliffmas. let's play hardball. >>> good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. leading off tonight, fiscal cliff hanger, president obama calls on congress to act after christmas on a scale-down deal that would spare the middle class from tax hikes on the first of the year. the president met with harry reid and spoke with john boehner. is a grand bargain still possible when everyone is leaving town? >> a week from the shooting massacre that left 20 childre
of all, we want to say merry christmas. >> president obama is cutting short his christmas break with the fiscal cliff looming large. >> the fiscal cliff gets closer. congress now has six days left to make a deal. >> aloha, hawaii. >> to my republican colleagues, the ronald reagan model is if you get 80% of what you want, that's a pretty good day. >> they were this close. they were this close to a solution. >> he's going to get tax rate hikes. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are. >> be republican and be conservative and pass a bill that cuts tax. >> boehner has no control over his extreme right wing faction. >> should anybody's taxes be raised at this point? answer yes or no. >> no. no. ♪ >> we begin as president obama and the senate head back to washington set for one last effort to avert the first fiscal cliff. aloha means good-bye for the president as he packs bound for the white house tonight. the president cutting short his vacation leaving michelle and the girls behind as he gets back to work to try to prevent tax increases and spending cuts due to begin n
, president obama is going to meet with the congressional leaders today . one of these meetings "i think lindsay graham saying these are usually dog and pony shows. either you have a deal done meetings that are called in the white house or it is just for show. what do you think? >> kelly: i talked to a bunch of congress people yesterday who said there is a group in the house. republicans in the house that said we can't raise taxes and we shouldn't raise them at all but can't do more than john boehner's plan b, and didn't go to a vote. >> one for million. icle >> it would raise you billion in revenue. they were not for it in the first place but maybe get something through if obama willing to cut. obama administration said if you pass it in the house and september passed it, obama would veto it anyway. they are so far apart. this i am flying back from hawaii and see if i can bring them back together. they are far apart as they have been. >> kelly: why are they having the meeting? because of the talk and rhetoric is ramping up and the agreement is going down. i mean, for example, senate maj
mean is that the kind of new regulation of guns that president obama and vice president biden and a lot people like to see enacted early next year won't happen easily. it's a battle. the president and vice president are ready to lead the fight. it's going to take the american people getting organized, agitated, and talking to their members of congress. >> do you think the nra still has the clout it once did? they have several times been able to rally their folks on capitol hill to vote against extension of the gun ban, things like that. >> we'll see. i think this situation is different than the other acts of mass violence, columbine, aurora and virginia tech, because here those 20 beautiful innocent children, slaughtered and hit multiple times with bullets from that assault weapon. so we' see, but i tell you this. the strength of the nra is more than half of the adults in america have guns, own guns and have them in their homes. we have to convince them that none of the proposals will take their guns away. the proposals will make it harder, hopefully impossible for people to buy assault
that every obama has tried to do. it's really over a tax increase, and for what? it's really to stop primary challenges. that's what this is all about. i mean, it's really bringing the country to a standstill for their own political short term. >> "new york times" is talking about the urgency issue in all of this, and lacking urgency that we have witnessed. they say, yeah, with days left before the fiscal punch lands, both sides are exhibiting little sense of urgency. rather than to foster progress. perry is that the biggest thing, the primaries moving out of this and how everything looks back? >> i think there are two things going on. the first is democrats generally feel they won a man dade. they're not backing down -- the second thing is the primary issue. you have members of congress say last week there was a proposal to raise taxes, and a lot of republicans said i can't vote for that, a million only tax increase. they were worried about primaries. that's driving this in a very strong way. >>> there are people in washington, d.c. that will tell us this is how it all happens. congressman
house. president obama called congressional leaders to the white house. the hope was he could hash out the framework for a possible deal. danielle nottingham joins us with the latest. okay, did they get it done, danielle? >> reporter: derek, we're just not sure what happened. all four leaders left the white house without speaking to the media. we can only assume that means this wasn't a productive meeting. top congress impressional leaders left the white house after a last-ditch fiscal k cliff meeting with president obama. the closed door meeting was an attempt to avoid the automatic tax headaches and spending cuts set to king at the start of the new year. with just three days to go republicans and democrats are still blaming each other. >> i want to thank all of you for being here to call upon the republicans not to drop the ball on the middle class. >> reporter: there was a new year's eve style rally saying the fiscal cliff ball is in the republicans court. >> it's republicans who are holding hostage the middle class in america so that the wealthy don't have to pay their fair share.
of hot water for making nice with president obama in the wake of hurricane sandy. >> 2.8 million people without power. i've watched these extraordinary scenes over new jersey today, really quite unprecedented. i've never seen anything quite like it. have you ever seen anything like this in your lifetime? >> no, i haven't. you know, you see sights like the seaside heights board walk where the program "the jersey shore" is filmed, the boardwalk is gone. it is gone. music rides, roller coaster ride, in the ocean. it's incredible. homes destroyed. it's an awful thing. >> you've taken charge, as you've always done in these situations, in a very impressive way. people have been surprised you've been so outspokenly supportive and praiseworthy to the president. i'm not surprised knowing you but explain to me why you were happy to do that so close to an election when some might say politically that wasn't the best thing to do. >> this is much more important than any election, piers. this is the livelihood of the people in my state when the president does this evenings that deserve praise, i will
obama met with the four congressional leaders this afternoon just a few minutes away. steve handlesman has more. >> after the meeting, he called the president was optimistic and insistent, optimistic there can be a deal that will keep most americans' taxes from going up. here's the president gist now in the white house briefing room. >> i just had a good and constructive discussion here at the white house with start and house leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class. i'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. senators reid and mcconnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. but if an agreement isn't reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up-or-down vote. one that protects the middle class from an income class hike. one that extends it to 2 million americans looking for a job and lays the groundwork for more economic growth and debt reduction. >> that leads to the insistent park, asking reith who control the se
faulkner. with just days to go until the fiscal cliff deadline president obama and top congressional leaders are set for a crucial meeting. expectations are low for a deal when house and senate leaders head to the white house this afternoon to meet there with president obama. lawmakers are increasingly looking at the period following the december 31st deadline we're told to come up with a fix to avoid massive tax hikes and spending cuts, affect lives of nearly every american many economists say could plunge the economy into another recession. chief white house correspondent ed henry live with the latest. so in this meeting, ed, is there any hope they will accomplish anything? >> reporter: well it is pretty low expectations, jon. what we're expecting when you talk to top officials of both parties the president will offer a scaled back plan, something he laid out lines friday before christmas here in the white house briefing room before he went to hawaii. where he said look, we have to scale back expectations. basically just extend middle class tax cuts. don't worry about the rates for
regulation of guns that president obama and vice president biden and a lot people would like to see enacted early next year, is not going to happen easily. it's going to be a battle. but the president and i think the vice president are ready to lead the fight. it's going to take the american people getting organized, agitated, and talking to their members of congress. >> do you think the nra still has the clout it once did? they have several times been able to rally their folks on capitol hill to vote against extension of the gun ban, things like that. >> we'll see. i mean, i think this situation is different than the other acts of mass violence, columbine, aurora, virginia tech, because here, you know, those 20 beautiful innocent and cause the loopholes to make sure the people who are in in his term "bad guys" don't have the opportunity to buy guns. >> the number of households that own a gun has gone down a bit, but there are a lot of guns out there. i want to read you actually on another part of this argument, and that is about the culture and about these video games. we now at least beli
again at least. steve has the latest from capitol hill. >> sources are capitol hill say president obama in today's talks feels he has the advantage back and that he will press on his original demand that income taxes rise on earnings over $250,000. it's a positive sign, the first meeting since mid november the four congressional leaders at the white house. called by president obama, house speaker john boehner is a key figure. >> the fact that he has come back to me says that they cannot come up with some kind of agreement. -- that they can come up with an agreement. >> both sides want to avoid middle-class tax cuts. the hang up is the tax hikes on the rich. those making over $250,000 in the obama reposal or $400,000, a level that mitch mcconnell reportedly said he might be able to sel? republicans won the debate shifted. >> the talk about taxes, but what it should be about is what we want to talk about today -- the medicare fiscal cliff. >> no date to cut a day to reform entitlements by tuesday. >> if we do something right now to have long-lasting, adverse effects on economic growth, th
. >>> aloha means good-bye. president obama cuts his hawaiian vacation short to deal with the fiscal cliff. it is already too late? good morning, 7:00 in the east. i'm alina cho. >> and i'm drew griffin. soledad o'brien is off today. "starting point" begins right now. >>> our starting point, a cruel one. a one-two christmas punch from mother nature. tornadoes and blizzards tearing through the south and midwest. >> oh, my god. we need to go. it's right there. >> mobile, alabama, took a real beating. a twister blowing up transformers, leaving more than 25,000 customers without power. reports to damage to homes, a high school, and church. >> it came in behind the church right there, and then all green fluorescent lighting and popping transformers left and right. and we heard the crashing and everything and the power went out. >> i prayed to god as loud as i could, and i was just praying for my safety, and i knew the church was shaking. i just prayed that the church stayed put. >> here is the other half of this story, blizzard conditions blanketing much of the midwest and the northeast will ge
. now to candy. >>> happening now, new details of the meeting between president obama and congressional leaders for what could be a last-ditch effort to avoid the fiscal cliff. >>> families in the making ripped apart. russia officially bans the adoption of russian children by americans. >>> and for the second time in a month, a man pushed to his death from a new york city subway platform in the path of an oncoming train. wolf blitzer is off. i'm candy crowley. you're in "the situation room." >>> all eyes on that white house this hour. and the meeting that may be the last best chance to keep the country from going over the fiscal cliff. right now, the leaders of the house and senate are sitting down with president obama in a search for an 11th hour deal to prevent severe tax hikes and spending cuts from automatically kicking in with the new year. cnn's chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is getting new details. jess can ka, what are you hearing about that meeting? >> reporter: candy, the president is going to explain or reiterate the position he took on friday, that he would l
involved at least one major concession from president obama. to cut social security benefits. the cuts wouldn't have been direct. they would have come from a tweak to the way the social security benefits are calculated. here's how it works. right now the amount of money a retireee gets from the government gets is changed due to the index. when inflakes goes up, social security recipients see their payments go up the same amount to keep up with the cost of living. obama proposes switching to "chained cpi. "the name is opaque but the name is simple. the chained cpi rises more slow lie than regular cpi. if you yoois chain cpi to calculate social security benefits the amounts of the social security checks will rise more slowly, as well, against inflation. for about two days, this major concession opposed by many progressive lawmakers seemed close to becoming law until jeanne boehner walked away from the deal and tried to yankee laterally pass his own bill which he called, somewhat weirdly, plan b, to raise taxes on over 100 million and suspend all leeming cuts. that plan blew up in boehner
decades. president obama cut his hawaii trip short arriving in washington early today. for now, the house of representatives is not in session but we've learned those lawmakers are set to return this weekend. today the senate majority leader, harry reid, says we've just about run out of time. >> if we go over the cliff, and that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives as we speak with four days left after today before the first of the year, aren't here with the speaker having told them they'll give them 48 hours notice. i can't imagine their consciences, out wherever they are around the country and we're here trying to get something done. >> we're awaiting reaction from the senate minority leader, mitch mcconnell. when that happens we'll go live to the senate floor but a spokesman for john boehner says senator reid should talk less and legislate more. the house passed legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff. senate democrats have not. if the president and lawmakers cannot reach a deal in the next five days, automatic tax hikes and major spending cuts are set to kic
yesterday for the political action between president obama, between congressional leaders. they sound more optimistic, at least president obama does. do you think we're any closer to a deal at this point? >> i think there's no doubt that we are closer to a deal, but how much closer we'll know probably in the next 24 hours. it's interesting because in the last 20 hours, the silence that had pervaded capitol hill was completely changed after the president and the four congressional leaders he met with all announced that they're shifting negotiation tactics now to a group of two. two senators, mitch mcconnell and harry reid, the two party leaders in the senate, are going to be trying to find a way to get a deal today. we know their staff is talking. we don't expect actually any necessary meetings between those two leaders right away today. we think that their chiefs of staff are going to be on the phone, via e-mail. this reported from our producer, ted barrett. perhaps tonight they'll see if the leaders can sit down and get together something to present to their various caucuses. now as i sai
and the january deadline now just ten days away. president obama and his family are vacationing in hawaii and congress is on holiday recess after no new breakthrough and both sides are holding out and they'll be able to reach a deal. >> call me a hopeless optimist, but i actually still think we can get it done. >> of course, hope springs eternal and i know we have it in us to come together and to do the right thing. >> nbc's kristin welker is in hawaii and the president is still in talks while he's there or are the the talks on hiatus? >> richard, my sources tell me this is very much a working vacation for president obama and at this time there's no conversation between the president and congressional leaders and that doesn't mean that they're not going to happen. back in washington, d.c., staffers at the white house and on the hill are still there to some extent, communicating with each other and talking with each other, trying to get a deal going. it seemed earlier this week, richard, as though president obama and john boehner were getting close to some sort of a deal, a deal that would
thou,000 a year. the bush tax cut will expire at the end of this year. obama was elected with a surplus of about three million votes. he won the election. he campaigned on this issue. again, the speaker can't take yes for an answer. the president has presented to him something that would prevent us from going over the cliff. it was response to something that the speaker gave them himself but i guess with the dysfunctional republican caucus in the house, even the speaker can't tell what they are going to do because he backed off even his own proposal. the house, we hear so often, is controlled by the republicans. and we acknowledge that. i would be most happy to move forward on something that senator mcconnell said they wouldn't filibuster over here that he would support and that boehner would support if it were reasonable. but right now we haven't heard anything. i don't know and it's none of my business, i guess, although i am very curious, if the speaker and the majority leader, the republican leader over here are even talking. i mean, what's going on here? mr. president, you can't le
's now just three days away. president obama's modestly optimistic the top democrat and republican in the senate can work things out. jessica yellin has more on what needs to happen in order to make a deal. >> alison, christy, hi. well, the good news is, things could have been worse. it does seem those of us watching the sidelines as though time is running out. congress does some of its best, at least the speediest work when the nation's back is against the wall. >> reporter: after a rare oval office meeting, the president said he's modestly optimistic a deal can come together, emphasis on modestly. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. >> reporter: all sides left in agreement, at least over their next step. >> we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. >> whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect and some people aren't going to like it. some people will like it less, but that's where we are. >> so on saturday, the senate leaders will try to agree on l
evidence of any real plan. here is what we do know tonight. president obama cutting his vacation short arriving back in washington today. house lawmakers announcing late today they are now planning to return on sunday. but listen to the rhetoric. and you have to question whether that will do any good because near early everything that is coming out of d.c. is about blame. not answers. >> speaker boehner should call members of the house back to washington today. he shouldn't have let them go in fact. they are not here. they are not here. john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> harris: a spokesman for john boehner fired back "senator reid should talk less and legislate more." and senate minority leader mcconnell saying we should have worked all this out months ago. >> and republicans aren't about to write a blank check or anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> harris: tonight, that is exactly where we stand. at the edge of a cliff throwing blame for
no deal? president obama keeps talking about half a trillion in cuts, over ten years, we're doing that every five months when it comes to the deficit. $100 billion more person month that we spend over what we take in. you have to have bigger cuts on the table to get republicans to come along. >> we're only paying for 40% of what we spend today. it's interesting to see and what the futures are doing right now. very thinly traded at this hour on a friday evening it would be interesting to see and what they signal in terms of where we stand, now that we've heard from the president and some sort of modest optimism from both leader reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell. >> tyler, we want to go back to eamon javers. >> you just said when will we hear now from the president again? nbc news is tweeting that barack obama will appear as a guest on "meet the press" this weekend. when we will hear from the president again will be sunday morning. something to watch out for over the weekend. presumably, we'll get incremental details on what this deal is. as this is negotiated throughout frid
security benefits, thereby satisfying president obama's approach. instead of doing it through taxation, he can do it through the entitlements. guest: those are both ideas that have been raised, especially the social security and medicare benefits for the wealthy and potentially might not need them to live off of. one tricky part of that is wealthier americans have been paying these taxes for decades into social security and medicare if and a lot of folks have a problem with the idea of taking away their benefits they have paid for if just because they happen to be more well off. and issued the first caller raised and something to watch is this could really sort of set the tone for the president's second term. if this thing gets ugly and stays ugly, it's probably going to stay that way at least another year or two, and the next thing you know, he's a lame duck president. if we cut a deal and move on and he brings congress with him, we will see a new political atmosphere in washington. at this point it seems like more of the same. host: from facebook -- guest: one thing i a lot about yesterd
at the white house. president obama and top congressional leaders were trying to come up with ways to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in next week. keith russell with more on the budget talks that ended about 45 minutes away. >> jim, the meeting started at 3:10 and ended at 4:15. the four congressional leaders left without speaking to the media. with $600 billion in tax hikes set to take effect new year's day. senior advisers said the president was set to make a small offer with the full support of reid and pelosi. nbc news has learned that a previous offered made by the president, the one that involved a tax increase for only those earning more than $400 is off the table. advisers say that was part of a bigger proposal that speaker boehner did not accept. it looks like the current proposal goes back to raising taxes on those who make more than $250,000. the proposal known as plan b didn't work. it will remain to be seen if the smaller plan will. either way the countdown to the if you year could be very costly. >> i'm hopeful that a deal will avoid the worst parts of a fis
: they are considering legislation here in the senate today. president obama says he called to talk to congressional leaders, democrats and republicans, last evening. there is no progress here to report. president obama put it all on the house. >> they are operating without the house of representatives. it is being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker, not allowing the vast majority to get what they want. if the 250 would be brought up, it would pass overwhelmingly speaking that 250 he is discussing that would keep tax rates where they are for income amount for less than $250,000 increased those earning more. house speaker says senator reed should talk less and legislate more. senate democrats have not. they want to extend all the current tax rates and avoid some of the spending cuts. democrats are on their opening offer. they basically have not moved anywhere. there is less than a week to go. >> senator reid talking about a less than $250,000 limit. speaking right. exactly. liz: more on the fiscal cliff. let's bring in peter. with us is former clinton advisor doug shoen. we have basically mr
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